Olga Tokarczuk presents "The Books of Jacob," with Jennifer Croft & Rabih Alameddine

February 19, 2022, 1:00 PM

Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk joins us for a presentation of her novel The Books of Jacob — now available in English from Riverhead Press — in conversation with translator Jennifer Croft & Rabih Alameddine. This virtual event will take place on Zoom. Register here:

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This program is co-hosted in partnership with the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA and Third Place Books in Seattle, WA.

This virtual event will take place at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, on Zoom. The event is free to attend, but you can opt to purchase a copy of the book with your ticket. Bookplates signed by Olga Tokarczuk will be included with copies of The Books of Jacob on a first-come, first-served basis.

More on The Books of Jacob:

The Nobel Prize–winner’s richest, most sweeping and ambitious novel yet follows the comet-like rise and fall of a mysterious, messianic religious leader as he blazes his way across eighteenth-century Europe.

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas—and a new unrest—begin to sweep the Continent, a young Jew of mysterious origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following. In the decade to come, Frank will traverse the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires with throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism, is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah, and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike, with scandalous rumors of his sect’s secret rituals and the spread of his increasingly iconoclastic beliefs. The story of Frank—a real historical figure around whom mystery and controversy swirl to this day—is the perfect canvas for the genius and unparalleled reach of Olga Tokarczuk. Narrated through the perspectives of his contemporaries—those who revere him, those who revile him, the friend who betrays him, the lone woman who sees him for what he is—The Books of Jacob captures a world on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

Olga Tokarczuk has won the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Man Booker International Prize, among many other honors. She is the author of a dozen works of fiction, two collections of essays, and a children’s book; her work has been translated into fifty languages. (Photo credit: Lukasz Giza)

Jennifer Croft won the Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Olga Tokarczuk's Flights and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for her memoir, Homesick. (Photo credit: Chris Offutt)

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels The Wrong End of the Telescope; The Angel of HistoryAn Unnecessary WomanThe HakawatiI, the DivineKoolaids; and the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize. He tweets at @rabihalameddine. (Photo credit: Oliver Wasow & M Williams)

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The Transnational Series focuses on stories of migration, the intersection of politics & literature, and works in translation and is supported by the independent bookstore Brookline Booksmith. Subscribe to the Transnational Series newsletter for information on upcoming events, book recommendations, and more.

Founded in 1998 in Lake Forest Park, Washington, Third Place Books is dedicated to the creation of a community around books and the ideas inside them. With locations in Lake Forest Park and Seattle's Ravenna and Seward Park neighborhoods, Third Place Books is proud to serve the entire Seattle metro area. Learn more about their event series at thirdplacebooks.com/events